View Full Version : Lumbar pain/pressure

10-25-2007, 08:39 AM
Did anyone else with a fusion to L5 or thereabouts start experiencing lumbar pain and pressure well into their recovery? I'm just over four months post-op and this area was pretty numb until now. It's sore inside as well as outside -- the skin around the posterior fusion is now very tender also if I press it. Of course I'm on weaker meds now, too. But the discomfort is pretty intense. I wonder if I'm overdoing it in PT or on the treadmill?

Is this a normal part of the "waking up" process? I will call Dr. B if necessary but I wanted to check with you guys first...thanks.

10-25-2007, 10:56 AM
I had pressure in my lower back when I stood or walked. I found out from this forum that it is normal. I still have it sometimes at 8 months post op. The soreness is probably normal, but I would have the doctor check it out, maybe a blood test to rule out an infection.

Sue :)

10-25-2007, 01:00 PM
I felt sore in the lower spine as I walked, my Dr. told me to rest as soon as the pain starts at 5 months I don't feel it nearly as often.

Karen Ocker
10-25-2007, 01:39 PM
You are only 4 months post-op!!!*#!!! Easy does it. You've gotten a spectacular correction in middle age after having that large curve for so long.

This is normal, normal, normal. Try not to go nuts over every new ache, jab, shock or twitch in your body or you will end up in the loony bin.
Overdoing it can cause an increase in aches so rest, already. :rolleyes:

Recovery from this procedure is painfully slow.

10-25-2007, 01:57 PM
Thanks guys --

Karen, you made me laugh!! I KNOW it's only been four months, but it feels like I've been recovering for years!!

My physical therapist told me to ease up on the driving today -- she thinks getting in and out of my tiny little Honda is aggravating my lumbar area. I suspect she's right.

I'll do my best to stay out of the loony bin.... :eek: :rolleyes:

10-25-2007, 03:17 PM
Hi Chris,

Karen is SO right! The recovery is VERY slow! I use to think I was not going to need the 2 years everyone said it was going to take to fully recover. But, here I am STILL getting better all the time! I am at 1 yr. 8 mos. now. So take it easy and remember to LAY DOWN and relax at least 1x per day. That will really help you. I am fused to L4 and this really helped me when I felt the lower back pain I got from overdoing it and also when I began my P.T. Keep up the great recovery!

2/22/06 T10 to L4 at age 43
49* now 8*

10-26-2007, 12:16 AM
Hi Chris,

It's great to hear that you are doing as well as you are so soon after surgery!!! I know that when I would have my good days, I would way over do it. And then I would pay for it for days.

Do you think that may be the case with you? We are so used to being so active with our pain from the scoliosis prior to the surgery, that we think we can still do the same things without thinking that our bodies have just been rearranged in a very dramatic way. And that we need some time to heal.

Just a thought,

10-26-2007, 06:29 AM
Little cars are hard on the back. We had a Geo Metro for a while. I went car shopping on bad back days to see what would be the easiest for me to get in and out of. I drive a Ford Escape now so I don't have to bend. If you can, try exercising in a pool. It takes a lot of pressure off of the back and allows you to build up your muscles (it has also lowered my cholestrol).

10-26-2007, 06:41 AM
Yes, Shari, that's exactly what's happening to me. I've been increasing the activity while cutting way down on meds, weaning off the brace, and driving more -- thus creating the perfect setup for more pain and stiffness, and the need to slow down. It all caught up with me big-time.

My brain is telling me it's time to get going and do everything I used to do -- but my body of course is telling me differently. :rolleyes:

10-26-2007, 10:29 AM
Hello Chris- I think you're doing a great job in recovery! It is a hard balance between building your endurance and hurting yourself, and knowing the difference. I still feel like there is a big claw in the lumbar area squeezing at times, but it is getting much better. I have had trouble with shoes- I can only wear one pair of ugly shoes that doesn't set it off. Oh well...........Lisa

10-26-2007, 02:49 PM
Me too-me too-me too. I'm 5-1/2 months post op and I still have pain in the lumbar area (well, actually, the pain is in my left butt cheek!) I'm right this minute in bed because I was up too long today and I'm suffering for it. I hope I recoup quickly because I have a "date" tonight. My hair stylist came to my house to cut my hair one Sunday morning after my surgery and then wouldn't let me pay him! So I'm taking him to dinner to thank him. Getting out to dinner like real people should help my mood! :)

10-26-2007, 03:38 PM
Trulyaries- Won't it be nice to think about something besides fusions and recovery? Have fun tonight!

10-27-2007, 09:08 AM
We did have fun and talked about almost everything else BUT my surgery. However, he is very understanding of my back issues because his ex-wife also suffered from failed fusion, etc. It felt great to get out for a nice dinner, and I slept like a baby last night!

10-27-2007, 06:14 PM
Definitely give your lower back time. Listen to your body and it will show you how much is too much. Keep plugging away in the physical therapy.

Not to discourage you, but you know I am 15 months post-op and only this past month have I felt like my lower back has calmed down since the surgery. Of course, everyone is different in their recovery. I had also gotten very discouraged over the past year with the stiffness, pain, even sciatic type attacks that seemed to be part of the healing process. My surgeon had kept close track of me, scheduling PT, whatever to help me, even setting me up with a physiatrist to work with me on it. Low and behold, everything calmed down and I cancelled the appointment.

Of course, your situation is different, but want you to keep up hope that it will get better!!

age 48
posterior surgery 7/24/06
T5-L5 for s curve
T72, L77 curves
50% correction

10-28-2007, 08:11 AM
Deb is so right... I can remember getting very discouraged and depressed when i wasn't recovering as quickly as i thought i should. Don't let the depression blind-side you. Expect it and recognize it for what it is when it comes around. Remember we've been there too and come out on the other side... so will you!!! ((((((((hugs)))))))

10-28-2007, 11:13 AM
Thank you everyone!

I liked it better when my lower back was numb -- too bad it's waking up. This recovery sure is a bitch sometimes......

11-02-2007, 12:38 AM
Hi Chris,

For some, recovery seems so much easier than others here. We all know that there is not a set pattern to how we recover, and I hope we know that how we recover should not be compared to others!!! I think that no matter how long it takes us to recover, doesn't matter as much as the fact that we do recover!!!

We all have different experiences that seem to be complicated by many different circumstances. I think it's important to us as individuals to consider these factors that can't be compared!!!

I think you're doing well, but I also know the feeling of not doing as well as we expect in our own minds.

Try feeling proud of yourself, as hard as it may be, that you have just survived a very complicated surgery, you may not be where you think you should be at this point in your recovery, but sometimes it take longer than we expected!!! There's no shame in that.

I'm proud of you, and so are many others here!!!


11-02-2007, 10:25 AM
It does get much much better- hard to believe when your in pain and stiff for so long. After my surgery I couldn't image getting much better. I thought I was going to walking around really slow and stiff the rest of my life. I am almost as flexable as I was before the surgery. I am I was 90% better now after almost 9 months post op can say 100% because but I have to go back in for another surgery. doctor said my lower back curve is off and wants to fix it- I though I will wait until I am in real bad pain before I go back in for another surgery, but now it is pretty bad, so the sooner to better.